) occurs when a person receives two copies of a chromosome
, or part of a chromosome, from one parent and no copies from the other parent.
UPD can occur as a random event during the formation of egg
cells or may happen in early fetal
development. It can also occur during trisomic rescue
Most occurrences of UPD result in no phenotypical
anomalies. However, if the UPD causing event happens during meiosis
II, the genotype
may include identical copies of the uniparental chromosome (isodisomy), leading to the manifestation of rare recessive
disorders. UPD should be suspected in an individual manifesting a recessive disorder, where only one parent is a carrier
Uniparental inheritance of imprinted genes can also result in phenotypical anomalies. Few imprinted genes have been identified, however uniparental inheritance of an imprinted gene can result in the loss of gene function which can lead to delayed development, mental retardation, or other medical problems.
Occasionally, all chromosomes will be inherited from one parent, due to either a sperm fertilizing an empty egg and duplicating itself, or a diploid egg that is not fertilized. The effect is similar to triploidy
, with either a molar pregnancy
with no embryo if only paternal genes are present, or an embryo with no placenta if only maternal genes are present. Neither condition ever results in a liveborn infant.
The first clinical case of UPD was reported in 1991 and involved a girl with cystic fibrosis and unusually short stature who carried two copies of maternal chromosome 7
. Since 1991, out of the 47 possible disomies, 29 have been identified among individuals ascertained for medical reasons. This includes Chromosome
2, 5-11, 13-16, 21 and 22.
This article incorporates public domain text from The U.S. National Library of Medicine